India ‘Deeply Concerned’ After Unidentified Gunmen Storm Sikh Temple in Kabul
The Afghan Sikhs who came under attack in Kabul on Saturday morning have been seeking evacuation from Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban coming to power last August. They have complained that inspite of making several appeals to New Delhi, they haven’t been granted an e-visa to travel to India
The Indian government has said that it is “deeply concerned” over the storming of a Sikh temple in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Saturday morning.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and waiting for further details on the unfolding developments,” Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Saturday.
Gurnam Singh, the president of the Kart-e-Parwan Gurudwara (Sikh temple) in Kabul, told Sputnik that the “terrorists” stormed the place of worship around 6:30 AM (local time).
Singh claims that gunshots and bomb blasts have been heard inside the temple complex, adding that he suspected “casualties” in the attack.
“We have managed to evacuate around 10 people, while nearly 15 people still remain inside the complex,” he said.
A total of 30 Sikh and Hindu families live in the Sikh temple complex, he said.
The Sikh temple chief claimed that a large part of the Sikh temple has been “burnt” and “vandalised” owing to the blasts and gunshots inside.
Singh also said that the security personnel from the Taliban are presently at the site.
27 October 2021, 13:55 GMT
This Kart-e-Parwan Gurudwara had also come under attack from unidentified gunmen
in October 2021. Back then, they desecrated the Sikh shrine before leaving.
Since the Taliban came back to power in Afghanistan last August, the Indian government has voiced regular concerns over the safety of Afghan Sikh and Hindu minorities.
India's foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told Indian political parties in a closed-door briefing last August that evacuating Indian-origin Hindus and Sikhs from Afghanistan remained a priority for New Delhi after the Taliban conquest.
India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, remarked on 24 September that women, children and minorities in Afghanistan were in need of “help”, when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly on 24 September.
The Third Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan hosted by New Delhi in November and attended by top security officials from Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan had expressed “deep concern
” over the deteriorating security situation in the central Asian country since the Taliban takeover.